2009 California Civil Code - Section 3172-3176.5 :: Article 7. Enforcement Of Rights Arising From Stop Notice And Bonded Stop Notice

CIVIL CODE
SECTION 3172-3176.5

3172.  An action against the owner or construction lender to enforce
payment of the claim stated in the stop notice or bonded stop notice
may be commenced at any time after 10 days from the date of the
service of the stop notice upon either the owner or construction
lender and shall be commenced not later than 90 days following the
expiration of the period within which claims of lien must be recorded
as prescribed in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 3109). No such
action shall be brought to trial or judgment entered until the
expiration of said 90-day period. No money shall be withheld by
reason of any such notice longer than the expiration of such 90-day
period unless such action is commenced. If no such action is
commenced, such notice shall cease to be effective and such moneys
shall be paid or delivered to the contractor or other person to whom
they are due. Notice of commencement of any such action shall be
given within five days after commencement thereof to the same persons
and in the same manner as provided for service of a stop notice or
bonded stop notice.

3173.  In case such action is commenced as provided in Section 3172
but is not brought to trial within two years after the commencement
thereof, the court may in its discretion dismiss the action for want
of prosecution.

3174.  Upon the dismissal of an action to enforce a stop notice or
bonded stop notice, unless expressly stated to be without prejudice,
or upon a judgment rendered therein against the claimant, the stop
notice or bonded stop notice shall cease to be effective and the
moneys withheld shall be paid or delivered to the person to whom they
are due.

3175.  Any number of persons who have given stop notices or bonded
stop notices may join in the same action and when separate actions
are commenced the court first acquiring jurisdiction may consolidate
them. Upon the motion of the owner or construction lender the court
shall require all claimants to the moneys withheld pursuant to stop
notices and bonded stop notices to be impleaded in one action, to the
end that the respective rights of all parties may be adjudicated
therein.

3176.  In any action against an owner or construction lender to
enforce payment of a claim stated in a bonded stop notice, the
prevailing party shall be entitled to collect from the party held
liable by the court for payment of the claim, reasonable attorney's
fees in addition to other costs and in addition to any liability for
damages.
   The court, upon notice and motion by a party, shall determine who
is the prevailing party for purposes of this section, whether or not
the suit proceeds to final judgment. Except as otherwise provided by
this section, the prevailing party shall be the party who recovered a
greater relief in the action. The court may also determine that
there is no prevailing party. Where an action has been voluntarily
dismissed or dismissed pursuant to a settlement of the case, there
shall be no prevailing party for purposes of this section.
   Where the defendant alleges in his or her answer that he or she
tendered to the plaintiff the full amount to which he or she was
entitled, and thereupon deposits in court for the plaintiff, the
amount so tendered, and the allegation is found to be true, then the
defendant is deemed to be a prevailing party.

3176.5.  If the plaintiff is the prevailing party in any action
against an owner or construction lender to enforce payment of a claim
stated in a bonded stop notice, any amount awarded on the claim
shall include interest at the legal rate calculated from the date the
bonded stop notice is served upon the owner or construction lender
pursuant to Section 3172.


Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. California may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.